Saturday, 26 September 2015

An effective counter to the pike inc the Swiss - The Reiter

After further deliberations I decided to place an order with H & R for a German army, heavily built on the Reiter.

I started looking through the POWR rule book and read that these units were designed to counter 16th century pike units. Could the Reiter be ultimate anti Pike unit?

Reading on I looked the strength of 3 of the German Reiter units at 10 strength each. Grouped together and firing within 2" they get 1.5 strength so that would put them on a base of 45.

If these were firing into 3 pike units then there would be a further 3 shifts right putting the 3 Reiter units on 60 column. I think for 3 shooting units this is a respectable factor against pike units.

Being a class 2 troop type against class 4 or 5 does not matter when shooting only in melee, another bonus worth

I have 10 to 14 Reiter units in my German army available so using these effectively will be a challenge I am looking forward to.

You would have to try and get the 1.5 2" bonus in but they are effective up to 8" and can evade at 2" after firing which should keep them out of charge range of any pike unit including the Swiss.

They also get to fire at full effect out of their flanks if charged in such directions. They never fight at a disadvantage when being contacted in flank  which makes them a pretty handy unit to have on table.

They do suffer the dense target penalty so like pike units artillery will mash them with 2 shifts right per target unit.

I will be looking forward to fielding my new German Army, with these Reiter's and the Tercio units it adds even more flavour to an already excellent period.


  1. Wow, can't wait to see that army fielded. These troops were very popular from the 1550s onwards and were important in the French religious wars aswell as the German wars of the reformation and the Dutch revolt against Spain. What figures have you ordered for the reiters?

  2. I listened to you and ordered the Gordons horse. My Tercios will be ECW upright pike with dismounted dragoons for the shot contingency.

  3. Of course, they then encounter the Spanish tercio and get shot at as they come in, piked to death and shot at as they ride off again.